Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Breaking tradition ...

Marlene Terry
We're just a little over a week away from celebrating another Thanksgiving. And no matter how many of those holidays I've experienced, some of the same things come to mind. 

... Like sitting stuffed to the brim, by our fireplace after dinner; watching the snowflakes fall while other family members ... take a nap; football games; playing board games with those you love most; snacking on leftovers for the rest of the day, and most of all being very thankful for all of it.

Thanksgiving is the most traditional holiday I can think of. And for most of my life I just never thought it would be possible to do that day any other way.
... It just wouldn't be right, I thought. Somehow we (our family members) just had to be together at MY house for dinner, etc., etc.

That's why it was such a big surprise that when we, my hubby and I, finally let go of tradition one year, being treated to a Thanksgiving of a very different sort, that ended up being so fun and memorable.

First of all there was NO SNOW at all. ... Not in San Francisco where we flew to a few years ago. We were Thanksgiving weekend guests of a sweet, generous son.

Our feast that year was eaten outside, on a pier in Sausalito that overlooked the bay with the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the city in the background. The temperature was in the low 70ties and the water of the bay was like glass reflecting the surrounding environment perfectly as if it was a mirror. ...One of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen happened there that day. 

And instead of napping after, we strolled awestruck, down the streets and shops at Fisherman's Warf, heard and saw the legendary "bark" of the sea lions, listened to the carols playing in the background, watched ice skaters enjoy the sport dressed in shorts and tube tops (yes the ice was watery but still ice), marveled at the gorgeous holiday decorations throughout the city, and surprisingly, felt the joy of the holiday every bit as much as if we'd been sitting in front of the fireplace at home.

... And may I just say, Black Friday in San Francisco is everything you'd expect and more. It's true.  Just like almost every other place on that day, we entered the stores in herds and waited in lines forever to make our purchases. But when we stopped for a refreshment it would be an ice-cold fresh lime we asked for instead of hot chocolate.

We also rode cable cars ... really it seemed ... "half way to the stars," as the song says, and were amazed at flowers in full bloom, palm trees and noisy green parrots of-all-things, flying free and making their presence known as we passed by Lombard Street.

On Sunday we packed up, bid our son a tearful goodbye, boarded a plane and returned to the world we were most used to.

... Not a traditional holiday at all. But one that I remember as a favorite and will be thankful for the rest of my life.  

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.